Date   

Re: Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3

Steven Panish
 

Thanks Rolando.  Good to know.   So much for that test....I'll order a new cable.  I decided to not start taking things apart until I've done that check.

Steve

On Sat, Jul 31, 2021 at 1:45 PM Roland Christen via groups.io <chris1011=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

I did put the DEC cable onto the RA and the motor did not come on.
If you don't plug the RA cable into one of the motor boxes, the CP3 will automatically assume a motor fault. You must plug the RA cable into the Dec motor box to get a valid result.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Panish <scpanish@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Jul 30, 2021 10:29 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3

Unfortunately the RA branch of the y-cable is too short to make it to the DEC motor connector.  I may be able to pull off the CP3 and get the cable to connect to the DEC motor.  I did put the DEC cable onto the RA and the motor did not come on.  So that would support the idea that there is a fault in the cable or CP3.  

There is no visible corrosion on any of the connector pins.  They do not appear to be gold plated, this is an old mount. I put DeOxIt on the female connector sockets.  Didn't help.  I'll open the CP3 up and see if any corrosion is visible.  Seems unlikely, this is in an observatory, but NH does get humid.

There are no software limits set that would do this.  The problem appeared out of the blue.

Guess I'll order a spare Y cable next week.

Steve

On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 4:06 PM Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...> wrote:


On Jul 29, 2021, at 12:00 PM, Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...> wrote:


Also consider getting a spare motor Y-cable and try that. EVERYONE should have a spare motor Y-cable in their kit. A spare power cord too.

Fwiw.. I also have a spare Y-cable for the 1200.
I broke the original cable once, and fixed it… but after that incident I decided to get a spare just in case. 


And there is an outside chance that a software axis limit setting is involved.


-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   

On Thu, Jul 29, 2021, 11:50 AM Manusfisch via groups.io <tjfischer653=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:
Wasn’t there a problem with the CP3 where the inside board became loose or had a corroded connection inside the box that might make intermittent problems come up with power to the motor or control to the motor? I don’t have a CP3 just a later model CP4 so I can’t really comment technically I just remember a conversation

TJF Mobile

On Jul 29, 2021, at 08:18, Steven Panish <scpanish@...> wrote:


Eric,
The CP3 is connected through a serial/usb converter, but the RA still responds to a nudge even when the DEC does not, so the port is still alive.   And the handbox shows the same issue.  I think the fault has to be later in the path than the comm between the PC or handbox and the CP3.  Although I don't know the architecture.  Good thought though.
Steve



On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 11:09 AM Eric Dreher <ericpdreher@...> wrote:
Some will sleep, removing power from the port when it's considered inactive.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: New AP1100, indoor practice, lots of little questions

Roland Christen
 


- I remain baffled by the whole concept of home, find home,
Homing is only needed if you do an improper sync/recal on a wrong object and thus get the mount lost. For instance, if you put Vega in the center of your field but sync on Deneb, then you have told the mount a lie and it will be lost for any subsequent slews. each slew depends on the last position. If you get the mount lost, simply send it Home. It will go to the park3 position and recalibrate itself.

There is one caveat. This only works if you operate the mount in clutchless mode (never loosening the clutches and moving it manually). If you do decide to use the clutches, you can re-establish Home by manually moving the mount to Park3 positions and then sending a command to establish this as Home. Home can be established using APCC. Or you can enter the "set home command" manually.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: ap@... <ap@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Jul 31, 2021 3:46 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] New AP1100, indoor practice, lots of little questions

Still haven't gotten it outside. Tonight looks iffy. Testing indoors, some questions if someone has patience with a newbie: 

- I remain baffled by the whole concept of home, find home, "correctly calibrated with the sky" (for 3D view).  If I unpark from a known position, I apparently am not calibrated?  Or does it need at least one plate solve and sync?  And most advice about AE seems to be "leave it turned on, done".  But what's the whole "FIND HOME" for, which seems to require a Configure home, which seems to require an APPM run.  So do I need an APPM model for AE's?  Or maybe more basically what's Find Home for, and do I need it?  (On advice of another I was just ignoring APPM for now).  I should note that the 3D view frequently comes up wildly wrong, even though everything else looks perfect, so I think I am doing something wrong in this regard.  (I just read the APCC manual a 2nd time, and this aspect and AE differences is still opaque to me). 

- I looked with pempro and there is a PE curve loaded.  This is an AE mount. I have PEM off (based on the label).  Is that right, that the curve is there only if you turn off the AE's? 

- I loaded a custom horizon (had one in TSX) and that worked fine, but it doesn't seem associated with the site.  Am I understanding correctly, you need to manage horizons separately from sites? 

- The ASCOM V2 "configure now" button seems to take all your changes including current site into the (apparently otherwise independent) driver info like site.  It is not taking elevation, it leaves it unchanged.  Small bug?   Doesn't matter for me, I live in Flatland, everything's basically zero.  Unless I'm doing something more fundamental wrong?  My thinking is that basically you set everything in APCC and never in the ASCOM driver itself, it just flows from APCC, is that right in general?

On the good side, I set up for a realistic meridian flip in NINA using a daytime target, and it counted down, flipped perfectly on the first try. I'm loving how things just plain work, and yes, I'm probably overthinking some of these things (again), but you know -- cloudy nights, got to do something.  I've re-dressed the cables on the tripod now until they are way too pretty.  :) 

If the clouds continue I may have to start polishing the counterweights.  :( 

Linwood

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: New AP1100, indoor practice, lots of little questions

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

  • Homing returns the mount to a known position in the event it gets lost. IIRC it also clears any recent recal data. You can set the home position as you see fit (I use park 3) and if the mount ever gets lost for whatever reason you can press home and it will return to that position (park 3 in my case).

 

How is that different from just parking to a known park position and unparking?

 

  • The encoders are best suited to having the model running, but technically speaking they will still function without it.

 

So my main reason for getting encoders was to better battle wind – during dry season here, it is often more windy, and I was losing lots of subs as the wind went from, say, 3mph to 8mph.  I know there’s no complete solution for wind, but I understood AE’s would help a lot.  Hope that’s true?

 

  • This is where he users get confused. Models are NOT only useful for observatories. Smaller models can be used quite effectively for the backyard or mobile imager. For a single night of imaging I probably wouldn't build one, but for anything more than one night, I do. Getting APPM runs comfortably into your workflow will only help you get the most out of your investment.

 

OK.  Agreed.  But does that affect how they work for wind?

 

  • If you're properly PA'd and recal with solving (APPM is configured to do this for you by default) the 3D model should work perfectly fine.

 

I don’t understand how the mount can slew to the right position in the sky (in daylight, so “right” here means “by eye right direction”) but the 3D model shows it grossly off, maybe even upside down type wrong.  The good news is the mount is right, I just don’t know where I’m going wrong to confuse the 3D model.

 

When I say “slew to the right position” I mean I use NINA, pick a star that’s high in daylight, and do a slew.  The mount looks like it is in the right position and pointing to where the star would be.  Clearly it has not been sync’d to a plate solve.

 

Linwood

 


Re: New AP1100, indoor practice, lots of little questions

Bill Long
 

Homing returns the mount to a known position in the event it gets lost. IIRC it also clears any recent recal data. You can set the home position as you see fit (I use park 3) and if the mount ever gets lost for whatever reason you can press home and it will return to that position (park 3 in my case).

The encoders are best suited to having the model running, but technically speaking they will still function without it. This is where he users get confused. Models are NOT only useful for observatories. Smaller models can be used quite effectively for the backyard or mobile imager. For a single night of imaging I probably wouldn't build one, but for anything more than one night, I do. Getting APPM runs comfortably into your workflow will only help you get the most out of your investment.

If you're properly PA'd and recal with solving (APPM is configured to do this for you by default) the 3D model should work perfectly fine.

PEM is not used with encoders but if you had them off for whatever reason you would want a curve. That's nice they still build you a factory one! Those curves are quite good.

I ignore the v2 driver after having APCC configure it. APCC is the master, and as long as everything is properly setup in APCC it really shouldn't matter since the v2 driver sends everything through APCC. 

If you get bored, you can install sky safari on your mobile and connect that to the mount over wifi and play with that. 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of ap@... <ap@...>
Sent: Saturday, July 31, 2021 1:46 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: [ap-gto] New AP1100, indoor practice, lots of little questions
 
Still haven't gotten it outside. Tonight looks iffy. Testing indoors, some questions if someone has patience with a newbie: 

- I remain baffled by the whole concept of home, find home, "correctly calibrated with the sky" (for 3D view).  If I unpark from a known position, I apparently am not calibrated?  Or does it need at least one plate solve and sync?  And most advice about AE seems to be "leave it turned on, done".  But what's the whole "FIND HOME" for, which seems to require a Configure home, which seems to require an APPM run.  So do I need an APPM model for AE's?  Or maybe more basically what's Find Home for, and do I need it?  (On advice of another I was just ignoring APPM for now).  I should note that the 3D view frequently comes up wildly wrong, even though everything else looks perfect, so I think I am doing something wrong in this regard.  (I just read the APCC manual a 2nd time, and this aspect and AE differences is still opaque to me). 

- I looked with pempro and there is a PE curve loaded.  This is an AE mount. I have PEM off (based on the label).  Is that right, that the curve is there only if you turn off the AE's? 

- I loaded a custom horizon (had one in TSX) and that worked fine, but it doesn't seem associated with the site.  Am I understanding correctly, you need to manage horizons separately from sites? 

- The ASCOM V2 "configure now" button seems to take all your changes including current site into the (apparently otherwise independent) driver info like site.  It is not taking elevation, it leaves it unchanged.  Small bug?   Doesn't matter for me, I live in Flatland, everything's basically zero.  Unless I'm doing something more fundamental wrong?  My thinking is that basically you set everything in APCC and never in the ASCOM driver itself, it just flows from APCC, is that right in general?

On the good side, I set up for a realistic meridian flip in NINA using a daytime target, and it counted down, flipped perfectly on the first try. I'm loving how things just plain work, and yes, I'm probably overthinking some of these things (again), but you know -- cloudy nights, got to do something.  I've re-dressed the cables on the tripod now until they are way too pretty.  :) 

If the clouds continue I may have to start polishing the counterweights.  :( 

Linwood


New AP1100, indoor practice, lots of little questions

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Still haven't gotten it outside. Tonight looks iffy. Testing indoors, some questions if someone has patience with a newbie: 

- I remain baffled by the whole concept of home, find home, "correctly calibrated with the sky" (for 3D view).  If I unpark from a known position, I apparently am not calibrated?  Or does it need at least one plate solve and sync?  And most advice about AE seems to be "leave it turned on, done".  But what's the whole "FIND HOME" for, which seems to require a Configure home, which seems to require an APPM run.  So do I need an APPM model for AE's?  Or maybe more basically what's Find Home for, and do I need it?  (On advice of another I was just ignoring APPM for now).  I should note that the 3D view frequently comes up wildly wrong, even though everything else looks perfect, so I think I am doing something wrong in this regard.  (I just read the APCC manual a 2nd time, and this aspect and AE differences is still opaque to me). 

- I looked with pempro and there is a PE curve loaded.  This is an AE mount. I have PEM off (based on the label).  Is that right, that the curve is there only if you turn off the AE's? 

- I loaded a custom horizon (had one in TSX) and that worked fine, but it doesn't seem associated with the site.  Am I understanding correctly, you need to manage horizons separately from sites? 

- The ASCOM V2 "configure now" button seems to take all your changes including current site into the (apparently otherwise independent) driver info like site.  It is not taking elevation, it leaves it unchanged.  Small bug?   Doesn't matter for me, I live in Flatland, everything's basically zero.  Unless I'm doing something more fundamental wrong?  My thinking is that basically you set everything in APCC and never in the ASCOM driver itself, it just flows from APCC, is that right in general?

On the good side, I set up for a realistic meridian flip in NINA using a daytime target, and it counted down, flipped perfectly on the first try. I'm loving how things just plain work, and yes, I'm probably overthinking some of these things (again), but you know -- cloudy nights, got to do something.  I've re-dressed the cables on the tripod now until they are way too pretty.  :) 

If the clouds continue I may have to start polishing the counterweights.  :( 

Linwood


Re: 1100GTO AE PHD2 Settings #Guiding #Absolute_Encoders

Roland Christen
 

If the guiding is good, then that's all that matters. Perfect balance is not expected, just get it as close as you can.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Dreher <ericpdreher@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Jul 31, 2021 1:09 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] 1100GTO AE PHD2 Settings #Guiding #Absolute_Encoders #Guiding

Roland, that begs the question about other models.  With my 2017 Mach1GTO, I release the gearboxes, balancing RA as best I can, with DEC being a different animal.  On Pier East, Dec is just about spot-on, while Pier West is camera-heavy.  At times I do try to split the difference, but wonder if I'm really doing any good.

Last week's guiding had PHD2 RA at 0.25", Dec at 0.14", and an RMS of 0.28".  It seems like it doesn't get much better.  I'd appreciate your input, and thank you.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: 1100GTO AE PHD2 Settings #Guiding #Absolute_Encoders

Eric Dreher <ericpdreher@...>
 

Roland, that begs the question about other models.  With my 2017 Mach1GTO, I release the gearboxes, balancing RA as best I can, with DEC being a different animal.  On Pier East, Dec is just about spot-on, while Pier West is camera-heavy.  At times I do try to split the difference, but wonder if I'm really doing any good.

Last week's guiding had PHD2 RA at 0.25", Dec at 0.14", and an RMS of 0.28".  It seems like it doesn't get much better.  I'd appreciate your input, and thank you.


Re: 1100GTO AE PHD2 Settings #Guiding #Absolute_Encoders

Roland Christen
 

Even for non-encoder 1100 mounts you should balance both RA and Dec. No need for east heavy on RA. Both axes have spring loaded worm mesh, so you won't gain anything from unbalance. Dec unbalance will produce more delay in reversal due to higher static friction, so again it is best to balance the Dec axis well.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: skester@...
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, Jul 31, 2021 10:55 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] 1100GTO AE PHD2 Settings #Guiding #Absolute_Encoders #Guiding

Roland,

I have a non AE 1100GTO.  Based on supposed 'best practices', I have always left a slight imbalance of East heavy in RA, and 'camera heavy' in Dec.  However this practice was likely intended for mounts with considerably more backlash than an AP mount.  If I'm interpreting your post correctly, Dec should be as close to perfectly balanced as possible.  Does that hold for both AE and non-AE mounts?  Also should I continue to use slightly East heavy in RA, or should that be as close to perfectly balanced as well?

Thanks,
Scott

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3

Roland Christen
 


Yeah, I would call it a dead cable since the RA went dead once you plugged the dec cable into it
Wrong assumption unfortunately. Leaving the RA cable unplugged triggers a motor stall fault even in a good mount with a good cable.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Dale Ghent <daleg@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Jul 30, 2021 10:38 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3

Yeah, I would call it a dead cable since the RA went dead once you plugged the dec cable into it, so the problem followed it. It wouldn't surprise me for a such an old mount. I maintain a 1200GTO for my club and its Y cable's insulation feels stiff the touch and the jacket material appears to be quite oxidized, giving it an almost brittle look. I wouldn't be surprised if it threw in the towel at some point after nearly 20 years of hot summers and cold winters and flexing under use, assuming it's the original cable. Even though the performance of the mount is pretty much flawless, I should probably have the club get a spare to keep on hand.

> On Jul 30, 2021, at 23:29, Steven Panish <scpanish@...> wrote:
>
> Unfortunately the RA branch of the y-cable is too short to make it to the DEC motor connector.  I may be able to pull off the CP3 and get the cable to connect to the DEC motor.  I did put the DEC cable onto the RA and the motor did not come on.  So that would support the idea that there is a fault in the cable or CP3.
>
> There is no visible corrosion on any of the connector pins.  They do not appear to be gold plated, this is an old mount. I put DeOxIt on the female connector sockets.  Didn't help.  I'll open the CP3 up and see if any corrosion is visible.  Seems unlikely, this is in an observatory, but NH does get humid.
>
> There are no software limits set that would do this.  The problem appeared out of the blue.
>
> Guess I'll order a spare Y cable next week.
>
> Steve
>
> On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 4:06 PM Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...> wrote:
>
>
>> On Jul 29, 2021, at 12:00 PM, Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...> wrote:
>>
>> 
>> Also consider getting a spare motor Y-cable and try that. EVERYONE should have a spare motor Y-cable in their kit. A spare power cord too.
>
> Fwiw.. I also have a spare Y-cable for the 1200.
> I broke the original cable once, and fixed it… but after that incident I decided to get a spare just in case.
>
>>
>> And there is an outside chance that a software axis limit setting is involved.
>>
>>
>> -Christopher Erickson
>> Observatory engineer
>> Waikoloa, HI 96738
>> www.summitkinetics.com
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Jul 29, 2021, 11:50 AM Manusfisch via groups.io <tjfischer653=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:
>> Wasn’t there a problem with the CP3 where the inside board became loose or had a corroded connection inside the box that might make intermittent problems come up with power to the motor or control to the motor? I don’t have a CP3 just a later model CP4 so I can’t really comment technically I just remember a conversation
>>
>> TJF Mobile
>>
>>> On Jul 29, 2021, at 08:18, Steven Panish <scpanish@...> wrote:
>>>
>>> 
>>> Eric,
>>> The CP3 is connected through a serial/usb converter, but the RA still responds to a nudge even when the DEC does not, so the port is still alive.  And the handbox shows the same issue.  I think the fault has to be later in the path than the comm between the PC or handbox and the CP3.  Although I don't know the architecture.  Good thought though.
>>> Steve
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 11:09 AM Eric Dreher <ericpdreher@...> wrote:
>>> Some will sleep, removing power from the port when it's considered inactive.
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>
>
>







--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3

Roland Christen
 


I did put the DEC cable onto the RA and the motor did not come on.
If you don't plug the RA cable into one of the motor boxes, the CP3 will automatically assume a motor fault. You must plug the RA cable into the Dec motor box to get a valid result.

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Panish <scpanish@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, Jul 30, 2021 10:29 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3

Unfortunately the RA branch of the y-cable is too short to make it to the DEC motor connector.  I may be able to pull off the CP3 and get the cable to connect to the DEC motor.  I did put the DEC cable onto the RA and the motor did not come on.  So that would support the idea that there is a fault in the cable or CP3.  

There is no visible corrosion on any of the connector pins.  They do not appear to be gold plated, this is an old mount. I put DeOxIt on the female connector sockets.  Didn't help.  I'll open the CP3 up and see if any corrosion is visible.  Seems unlikely, this is in an observatory, but NH does get humid.

There are no software limits set that would do this.  The problem appeared out of the blue.

Guess I'll order a spare Y cable next week.

Steve

On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 4:06 PM Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...> wrote:


On Jul 29, 2021, at 12:00 PM, Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...> wrote:


Also consider getting a spare motor Y-cable and try that. EVERYONE should have a spare motor Y-cable in their kit. A spare power cord too.

Fwiw.. I also have a spare Y-cable for the 1200.
I broke the original cable once, and fixed it… but after that incident I decided to get a spare just in case. 


And there is an outside chance that a software axis limit setting is involved.


-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   

On Thu, Jul 29, 2021, 11:50 AM Manusfisch via groups.io <tjfischer653=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:
Wasn’t there a problem with the CP3 where the inside board became loose or had a corroded connection inside the box that might make intermittent problems come up with power to the motor or control to the motor? I don’t have a CP3 just a later model CP4 so I can’t really comment technically I just remember a conversation

TJF Mobile

On Jul 29, 2021, at 08:18, Steven Panish <scpanish@...> wrote:


Eric,
The CP3 is connected through a serial/usb converter, but the RA still responds to a nudge even when the DEC does not, so the port is still alive.   And the handbox shows the same issue.  I think the fault has to be later in the path than the comm between the PC or handbox and the CP3.  Although I don't know the architecture.  Good thought though.
Steve



On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 11:09 AM Eric Dreher <ericpdreher@...> wrote:
Some will sleep, removing power from the port when it's considered inactive.

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: 1100GTO AE PHD2 Settings #Guiding #Absolute_Encoders

skester@...
 

Roland,

I have a non AE 1100GTO.  Based on supposed 'best practices', I have always left a slight imbalance of East heavy in RA, and 'camera heavy' in Dec.  However this practice was likely intended for mounts with considerably more backlash than an AP mount.  If I'm interpreting your post correctly, Dec should be as close to perfectly balanced as possible.  Does that hold for both AE and non-AE mounts?  Also should I continue to use slightly East heavy in RA, or should that be as close to perfectly balanced as well?

Thanks,
Scott


Re: Early Meridian Flip not completing

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Wayne,

Hi Ray, this is happening even when I’m just running APCC. The only change I remember making is enabling Safety
Park and that doesn’t seem pertinent.
No, that is not pertinent at all.

But, what do you have set for the "Action when limit is reached" on APCC's Meridian tab? That should be set to "Just Warn".

-Ray


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Wayne Hixson via groups.io
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2021 9:19 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Early Meridian Flip not completing

Hi Ray, this is happening even when I’m just running APCC. The only change I remember making is enabling Safety
Park and that doesn’t seem pertinent.

Wayne
On Jul 30, 2021, at 4:59 AM, Ray Gralak <iogroups@...> wrote:

Hi Wayne,

E and W limits are the same per Ray's (W reflected to east).
CW slews enabled east and west. Override ASCOm selected
Previously you wrote:

Thanks Ray, can I change just warn to Flip? If I start my imaging before
the meridian limits?
There was a reason I suggested you should use "just warn". If the mount is configured to auto-flip, then whatever
control program you are using might have issued a move in the middle of the flip. It is best to have APCC set to "just
warn" and let the controlling software do the flip.

-Ray


-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Wayne Hixson via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2021 10:06 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Early Meridian Flip not completing

This was working great until tonight. The scope reach the meridian limit about an hour before transit and would
do a
CW up pier flip and resume from there. Now it starts the flip but stops halfway through and stops tracking with
CW
down and the scope pointing west. It looks like it's just symmetrical to the starting position with CW down
pointing
west instead of east.

E and W limits are the same per Ray's (W reflected to east). CW slews enabled east and west. Override
ASCOm
selected

Wayne







Re: Testing scopes and mounts - Imaging from Hawaii

R Botero
 

Roland

Great post and great trip!

Roberto


Re: Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3

Don Anderson
 

Just like the Hubble. Need a backup!

Don Anderson


On Friday, July 30, 2021, 09:39:00 p.m. MDT, Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:


Yeah, I would call it a dead cable since the RA went dead once you plugged the dec cable into it, so the problem followed it. It wouldn't surprise me for a such an old mount. I maintain a 1200GTO for my club and its Y cable's insulation feels stiff the touch and the jacket material appears to be quite oxidized, giving it an almost brittle look. I wouldn't be surprised if it threw in the towel at some point after nearly 20 years of hot summers and cold winters and flexing under use, assuming it's the original cable. Even though the performance of the mount is pretty much flawless, I should probably have the club get a spare to keep on hand.

> On Jul 30, 2021, at 23:29, Steven Panish <scpanish@...> wrote:
>
> Unfortunately the RA branch of the y-cable is too short to make it to the DEC motor connector.  I may be able to pull off the CP3 and get the cable to connect to the DEC motor.  I did put the DEC cable onto the RA and the motor did not come on.  So that would support the idea that there is a fault in the cable or CP3.
>
> There is no visible corrosion on any of the connector pins.  They do not appear to be gold plated, this is an old mount. I put DeOxIt on the female connector sockets.  Didn't help.  I'll open the CP3 up and see if any corrosion is visible.  Seems unlikely, this is in an observatory, but NH does get humid.
>
> There are no software limits set that would do this.  The problem appeared out of the blue.
>
> Guess I'll order a spare Y cable next week.
>
> Steve
>
> On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 4:06 PM Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...> wrote:
>
>
>> On Jul 29, 2021, at 12:00 PM, Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...> wrote:
>>
>> 
>> Also consider getting a spare motor Y-cable and try that. EVERYONE should have a spare motor Y-cable in their kit. A spare power cord too.
>
> Fwiw.. I also have a spare Y-cable for the 1200.
> I broke the original cable once, and fixed it… but after that incident I decided to get a spare just in case.
>
>>
>> And there is an outside chance that a software axis limit setting is involved.
>>
>>
>> -Christopher Erickson
>> Observatory engineer
>> Waikoloa, HI 96738
>> www.summitkinetics.com
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Jul 29, 2021, 11:50 AM Manusfisch via groups.io <tjfischer653=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:
>> Wasn’t there a problem with the CP3 where the inside board became loose or had a corroded connection inside the box that might make intermittent problems come up with power to the motor or control to the motor? I don’t have a CP3 just a later model CP4 so I can’t really comment technically I just remember a conversation
>>
>> TJF Mobile
>>
>>> On Jul 29, 2021, at 08:18, Steven Panish <scpanish@...> wrote:
>>>
>>> 
>>> Eric,
>>> The CP3 is connected through a serial/usb converter, but the RA still responds to a nudge even when the DEC does not, so the port is still alive.  And the handbox shows the same issue.  I think the fault has to be later in the path than the comm between the PC or handbox and the CP3.  Although I don't know the architecture.  Good thought though.
>>> Steve
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 11:09 AM Eric Dreher <ericpdreher@...> wrote:
>>> Some will sleep, removing power from the port when it's considered inactive.
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>
>
>







Re: Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3

Dale Ghent
 

Yeah, I would call it a dead cable since the RA went dead once you plugged the dec cable into it, so the problem followed it. It wouldn't surprise me for a such an old mount. I maintain a 1200GTO for my club and its Y cable's insulation feels stiff the touch and the jacket material appears to be quite oxidized, giving it an almost brittle look. I wouldn't be surprised if it threw in the towel at some point after nearly 20 years of hot summers and cold winters and flexing under use, assuming it's the original cable. Even though the performance of the mount is pretty much flawless, I should probably have the club get a spare to keep on hand.

On Jul 30, 2021, at 23:29, Steven Panish <scpanish@...> wrote:

Unfortunately the RA branch of the y-cable is too short to make it to the DEC motor connector. I may be able to pull off the CP3 and get the cable to connect to the DEC motor. I did put the DEC cable onto the RA and the motor did not come on. So that would support the idea that there is a fault in the cable or CP3.

There is no visible corrosion on any of the connector pins. They do not appear to be gold plated, this is an old mount. I put DeOxIt on the female connector sockets. Didn't help. I'll open the CP3 up and see if any corrosion is visible. Seems unlikely, this is in an observatory, but NH does get humid.

There are no software limits set that would do this. The problem appeared out of the blue.

Guess I'll order a spare Y cable next week.

Steve

On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 4:06 PM Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...> wrote:


On Jul 29, 2021, at 12:00 PM, Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...> wrote:


Also consider getting a spare motor Y-cable and try that. EVERYONE should have a spare motor Y-cable in their kit. A spare power cord too.
Fwiw.. I also have a spare Y-cable for the 1200.
I broke the original cable once, and fixed it… but after that incident I decided to get a spare just in case.


And there is an outside chance that a software axis limit setting is involved.


-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com


On Thu, Jul 29, 2021, 11:50 AM Manusfisch via groups.io <tjfischer653@...> wrote:
Wasn’t there a problem with the CP3 where the inside board became loose or had a corroded connection inside the box that might make intermittent problems come up with power to the motor or control to the motor? I don’t have a CP3 just a later model CP4 so I can’t really comment technically I just remember a conversation

TJF Mobile

On Jul 29, 2021, at 08:18, Steven Panish <scpanish@...> wrote:


Eric,
The CP3 is connected through a serial/usb converter, but the RA still responds to a nudge even when the DEC does not, so the port is still alive. And the handbox shows the same issue. I think the fault has to be later in the path than the comm between the PC or handbox and the CP3. Although I don't know the architecture. Good thought though.
Steve



On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 11:09 AM Eric Dreher <ericpdreher@...> wrote:
Some will sleep, removing power from the port when it's considered inactive.



Re: Debugging Dec failure to move w/1200 CP3

Steven Panish
 

Unfortunately the RA branch of the y-cable is too short to make it to the DEC motor connector.  I may be able to pull off the CP3 and get the cable to connect to the DEC motor.  I did put the DEC cable onto the RA and the motor did not come on.  So that would support the idea that there is a fault in the cable or CP3.  

There is no visible corrosion on any of the connector pins.  They do not appear to be gold plated, this is an old mount. I put DeOxIt on the female connector sockets.  Didn't help.  I'll open the CP3 up and see if any corrosion is visible.  Seems unlikely, this is in an observatory, but NH does get humid.

There are no software limits set that would do this.  The problem appeared out of the blue.

Guess I'll order a spare Y cable next week.

Steve

On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 4:06 PM Jeffc <jeffcrilly@...> wrote:


On Jul 29, 2021, at 12:00 PM, Christopher Erickson <christopher.k.erickson@...> wrote:


Also consider getting a spare motor Y-cable and try that. EVERYONE should have a spare motor Y-cable in their kit. A spare power cord too.

Fwiw.. I also have a spare Y-cable for the 1200.
I broke the original cable once, and fixed it… but after that incident I decided to get a spare just in case. 


And there is an outside chance that a software axis limit setting is involved.


-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com
   

On Thu, Jul 29, 2021, 11:50 AM Manusfisch via groups.io <tjfischer653=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:
Wasn’t there a problem with the CP3 where the inside board became loose or had a corroded connection inside the box that might make intermittent problems come up with power to the motor or control to the motor? I don’t have a CP3 just a later model CP4 so I can’t really comment technically I just remember a conversation

TJF Mobile

On Jul 29, 2021, at 08:18, Steven Panish <scpanish@...> wrote:


Eric,
The CP3 is connected through a serial/usb converter, but the RA still responds to a nudge even when the DEC does not, so the port is still alive.   And the handbox shows the same issue.  I think the fault has to be later in the path than the comm between the PC or handbox and the CP3.  Although I don't know the architecture.  Good thought though.
Steve



On Thu, Jul 29, 2021 at 11:09 AM Eric Dreher <ericpdreher@...> wrote:
Some will sleep, removing power from the port when it's considered inactive.


Current manuals electronically?

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

Now that I got the AP1100 I realize the manuals I have are out of date.  I almost never use paper, I vastly prefer electronic, I can read it on my phone, my kindle, my computer, etc.

Is there anywhere to get the current manuals? 

Example: the CP4 manual shipped is Feb 2020, but the one online is Nov 2018.  Or the 1100GTO says "Mounts shipped starting in March 2021" but online it says "Mounts shipped starting in Nov 2018". 

Obviously not an earth shaking issue, I still remember how to use paper (I think), but am I just looking in the wrong place?   I'm looking here: 

https://astro-physics.info/index.htm?tech_support/tech_support

Thanks, 
Linwood


Testing scopes and mounts - Imaging from Hawaii

Roland Christen
 

Hi all,

Some musings from my weeks of testing in Hawaii:

I just got back from Hawaii where I was able to spend a lot of time testing the guiding function of a 1600 encoder mount with an AP 175mm refractor. The tests were performed under various seeing conditions which ranged from 1.5 FWHM to 7.5 FWHM.  Our observatory is located on the west slope of Kohala mountain, which is on the dry side of Hawaii Island.

The sharpest seeing occurred when the prevailing winds came up-slope from the ocean or were parallel to the shoreline. The worst came from trade winds that came over Kohala mountain and curled overhead. The worst seeing was so bad that Saturn was unrecognizable - it was just a boiling mess.

Over a period of 3 weeks I imaged just about every night and gathered a lot of data - both image data and autoguiding data. I also did a fair amount of unguided imaging. A couple of things stood out immediately. No matter what settings of guide exposure, time lapse and aggressiveness i used, the guiding results were almost 100% dependent on seeing. If the seeing was poor, the guide results were the same whether I used 2 second guide exposures or 10 second exposures. Putting long delay between exposures also did not change the results. A larger Min Move did help to prevent back and forth star chasing to some extent when the seeing was bad. But no matter what, when the seeing was 5 arc sec FWHM the guiding was consistently around 0.6 arc sec rms. When the seeing produced stars of 1.5 arc sec FWHM, the guiding at times went below 0.1 rms. In other words the stars were twinkling slightly but perfectly stationary and not doing the hula dance.

One thing i discovered was that for best guiding results the axes should be very well balanced. The gear mesh release mechanism of the 1600 gearbox allowed almost perfect balance with this large refractor. It is much more critical to set the Dec balance accurately than the RA axis. Reason is that unbalanced Dec causes static friction in the worm gear teeth, which makes Dec movements non-linear at the sub-arc sec level. The encoders do compensate and produce the final position very accurately, but the static friction introduces delay in getting there, overshoot, etc, which reduces the moment to moment positional accuracy. Bottom line - balance Dec as close as possible. RA is not affected by unbalance because it is always moving, so there is no static friction to contend with. The only thing I noticed was an increase in the sub-arc sec ripple in the sidereal drive rate. The more balanced the axis, the smoother the RA tracking.

I accumulated on the order of 300 sub exposures of the deep sky object that I was imaging (a mix of 10 minute and 20 minute sub exposures). Out of these only about 5 had non-round stars due to an occasional passing cloud. All stars were round, even when the seeing was an astonishing and atrocious 7.5 arc seconds (seeing is a judge of star size in FWHM, guiding is a judge of the guide star motions in arc sec rms). So, even in poor seeing the dual encoders operated equally in both axes to keep the scope pointed properly, even though the guide star was pulsing like an amoeba. What might surprise long-time imagers is that I plan to use very frame in the final image. I will not be throwing out any of the subs, even though they contain bloated stars.

I did do some unguided imaging using the drift model in the keypad. I was operating at approximately 1000mm focal length and could do up to 20 minute subs with round stars. I used 8 points along the object path, starting from 4 hours in the east with scope under the mount, to 3 hours past the meridian in the west. The object was low enough to the south to allow the scope to start underneath with counterweight up. I experimented with a mix of unguided and nudge guiding with very low aggression. The problem with low aggression is when you are dithering it takes a long time for the guide star to come back to zero. Same is true if you are using long exposure times or long delay times between guide exposures. You have to allow for long guider settling time, and that eats into your imaging time.

The scope itself performed beautifully with very predictable focus with temperature. Even though the lens is a 175mm triplet and the daytime observatory was between 95 - 98 degree F during the day, once the roof was retracted and the sun set, the scope acclimated within the hour to 75 degree air temp. It produced sharp images as soon as it got dark enough to image. I refocused perhaps twice or 3 times during the night until just before dawn when the temp bottomed out at 68F. The nice thing about this triplet design was that the focus did not change between all my narrowband filters.

For those who say that large airspaced triplet lenses have long cooling/settling times, I did not experience that with this scope. But then maybe my observing conditions are not as extreme as some people experience? The AP 175 Triplet lens has thinner lens elements than is normally used. This required a lot of careful polishing at very low pressures when I fabricated them. And that cost a lot of time and money, but the results are worth it. The lens is made with 2 elements of BSL7 and one with S-FPL53, both Ohara glasses and both outstanding quality wise. Why is that important? Because what you get with BSL7 is extremely high internal homogeneity. Some people are enamored with Lanthanum mating elements, but these glass types were never intended for objective grade lens applications and do not have the high internal homogeneity of borosilicate crown glass. Lanthanum is also much heavier and retains heat with longer thermal settling down times.

Unfortunately S-FPL53 is no longer available but fortunately FPL55 and Hoya FCD100 can be used with similar performance using the same borosilicate crown mating elements.

I will do some more postings on mount and scope performance once I get a chance to analyze the data.

Rolando


--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Physical handling questions (AP1100)

Roland Christen
 

No need to unlock gear mesh or loosen clutches. Just leave it fully set up and go ahead and move it.

Roland


-----Original Message-----
From: ap@... <ap@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Sent: Fri, Jul 30, 2021 6:44 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Physical handling questions (AP1100)

@Ken Kirkley wrote:
 
  • Linwood
  •  
  • You're overthinking this.
 
It wouldn’t be the first time. My only defense is that overthinking is usually better than under.  😊
 
  • Your AP mount is rugged.
    Transporting it as you do there is no damage to anything.
    Sure, if the tripod and mount tumbled off the hand truck onto concrete
    there is the possibility of damage but even then, scratches more than anything.
    Enjoy your mount.
 
That’s encouraging.  Thank you.
 
@Ben Lutch
 
  • Fwiw, I use JMI Wheeley Bars to move my AP1200 setup (which carries a 6" - 10" refractor depending on the season, so it's pretty loaded up) in and out and all set up with wiring, scope and all the fixings. 
 
And do you just leave the gear mesh and clutches locked down?   And thanks, good to know.
 
@Don Anderson
 
  • Don't worry about it! The mount can be moved as you show.
 
Excellent, I’m glad there seems to be an immediate consensus.  Now can you guys just wish away the clouds that are forming.  😊
 
Thanks all.
 
Linwood
 

--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: Physical handling questions (AP1100)

ap@CaptivePhotons.com
 

@Ken Kirkley wrote:

 

  • Linwood
  •  
  • You're overthinking this.

 

It wouldn’t be the first time. My only defense is that overthinking is usually better than under.  😊

 

  • Your AP mount is rugged.
    Transporting it as you do there is no damage to anything.
    Sure, if the tripod and mount tumbled off the hand truck onto concrete
    there is the possibility of damage but even then, scratches more than anything.
    Enjoy your mount.

 

That’s encouraging.  Thank you.

 

@Ben Lutch

 

  • Fwiw, I use JMI Wheeley Bars to move my AP1200 setup (which carries a 6" - 10" refractor depending on the season, so it's pretty loaded up) in and out and all set up with wiring, scope and all the fixings. 

 

And do you just leave the gear mesh and clutches locked down?   And thanks, good to know.

 

@Don Anderson

 

  • Don't worry about it! The mount can be moved as you show.

 

Excellent, I’m glad there seems to be an immediate consensus.  Now can you guys just wish away the clouds that are forming.  😊

 

Thanks all.

 

Linwood

 

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